TEL AVIV, October 21 (RIA Novosti)
The Israeli and United States armed forces started their largest-ever joint air defense and anti-missile exercise on Sunday, involving thousands of service personnel and the two nation's principal air defense missile systems, the Israeli Army told RIA Novosti.
The Austere Challenge exercises, taking place in Israel and the neighboring waters, involve 3,500 Americans and over 1,000 Israelis. Preparations for the war games have taken two years and "are in no way connected to current events taking place in the Middle East," the two allies say.
The US forces will test their Patriot ground-based and naval Aegis air defense systems, while Israel will test its Hetz-2 (Arrow) missile, which, like Patriot, is designed to intercept ballistic missiles. Israel will also test its Iron Dome system which is designed to take on the short-range rockets which are regularly fired into Israel from Gaza.
Most of the exercise will consist of command and control drills in a simulated environment but will include some live firing. The exercise has cost the US $30 million and Israel $8 million.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Yury Gagarin: A down-to-earth person
Infographics: The Linguistic Diversity of the Planet
During Vladimir Putin’s annual Q&A session some members of the Valdai International Discussion Club asked him several questions. How united is the West in its desire to punish Russia? Which EU countries are in favour of isolating Russia? Is this even possible? And what is going on in Ukraine?